Discovery Plot Days Underway:
Management Plans, Choices,
Yesterday marked the first of the 2017 Discovery Plot Days; they continue today and into next week.
Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist encouraged growers to come to Discovery Plot Days and
learn how to start a management plan or how to improve on current management plans. He offered this explanation as to why such plans matter.
Growers need to "start with leading genetics, then protect them with traits and a solid weed management program designed around problem weeds that is more sustainable and durable for the future. I see weed resistance as one of the most significant threats to our growers today and it comes down to management."
Other topics on the tours include:
- 2018 Hybrid/Variety Choices
- 2018 Soybean Trait Choices
- An Introduction to Balance™ GT and GTLL in Soybeans
- Weeds are adaptable: Are WE adapting?
- Fall Nutrient Management
- Giant Ragweed and Waterhemp Management Update
Today, Tues., Aug. 22 - Isanti - Paul Bostrom Farm
Wed., Aug. 23 - Albertville - Lennemen Farm
Thurs., Aug. 24 - Princeton - Wilhelm Farm
Fri., Aug. 25 - Sauk Rapids - Lezer Farm
Mon., Aug. 28 - Rush City - Mold Farm
Tues., Aug. 29 - Hinckley - Nate Nelson Farm
Wed., Aug. 30 - Ogilvie - Steffens Farm
Alfalfa Fertilization Follows Soil Testing
"Alfalfa uses all 13 nutrients like all other crops," said Craig Peterson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location, "but [alfalfa] has a high demand for phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
That translates into 12-14 lbs. of P and 26-32 lbs. of K removed from the soil for every ton of dry matter alfalfa, according to Peterson, which is equal to 26-32 lbs. of DAP and 83-116 lbs. of potash -- and that's a depletion that will affect the crop yield in subsequent seasons.
Fertilization is critical. As is a soil test.
"A high testing soil will help with part of the nutrient needs . . . a low test may fix or tie up some of a fertilization application, [but] having a current soil test is a must to achieve a healthy, high-yielding stand," said Peterson.
Fertilizer options vary based on soil test results.
- Alfalfa can be very responsive to sulfur, especially in lighter textured soils. Using a sulfur product that breaks down slowly can be beneficial to help prevent leaching. "Elemental sulfur is a good choice," said Peterson, because it will help keep sulfur in the soil profile longer.
- Alfalfa sometimes benefits from ammonium sulfate (AMS) when a more instant response is needed. Peterson said, "A blend of elemental sulfur and AMS may fit better for longer season needs."
- Potash is ideally applied after both first and third cuttings; a "late winter or early spring application can damage the crowns of the alfalfa plants," he said. Potash applied right after the third crop helps build winter hardiness. Peterson noted that for dairy rations, if all the potash goes on alfalfa in one application, it can affect the levels of K in feed, and nutritional adjustments need to be made.
Be sure to talk to your
with any questions about fertilizing alfalfa, or if you would like soil testing assistance.
"[Federated's] propane supply is more than adequate," said Mark Grave, Federated's propane manager, based in part on efforts to secure propane and transportation well in advance of harvest time. Federated relies on multiple supply points and a mixture of pipeline and rail terminals to capture propane across the nation.
Nationwide inventories, according to Grave, are at the "lower end of the five-year average due to high petrochemical demand and exports," which, he said, "has created a strong fundamental pricing picture for this fall."
Grave noted that "with a large corn crop throughout the Midwest, short-term supply challenges will likely unfold at the supply terminal," but to offset that possibility, he said, "we strongly urge growers to fill all dryer tanks now in preparation."
Early propane deliveries to growers before the busy autumn give Federated the opportunity to replenish propane inventory ahead of harvest, to better sustain supply throughout the season.
Growers who have need for additional propane tanks for drying this fall should contact Federated soon to get on the schedule. Thanks to rapid customer growth on the propane side of the co-op's business, crews are booked well in advance for tank placement and gas line installation.
Whether it's for new installations or early refills,
soon to get set for harvest.